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  • FEB. 26 - Statewide lodging tax condemned by Senate

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 21, 2019

    CHEYENNE – The Senate killed a bill to implement a statewide lodging tax on a final vote Monday after it was pulled from the consent list. It was just one of several bills aimed at broadening and diversifying the state’s revenue stream that failed to make it through the Legislature after a lot of talk to start the session about this being the year for change. House Bill 66 died 19-7 in the Senate after it had passed out of the House earlier this session on a 44-16 vote. The bill would have put a 5 percent statewide tax on lodging sales, wit... Full story

  • FEB. 19 - Local school security bill dies in House

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 14, 2019

    CHEYENNE – In an overwhelming floor vote, the state House of Representatives killed a school security bill Friday because of what some called an unfunded, and unneeded, mandate on schools. Senate File 64, sponsored in the interim session by the Joint Education Commit-tee, died on its first vote in the House on a 43-13 vote. The bill was passed out of the Senate 19-11 last month and received unanimous support from the House Education Committee this past week. The bill would have required the Wyoming Department of Education, in collaboration with... Full story

  • FEB. 15 - Senate kills death penalty repeal bill

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 14, 2019

    CHEYENNE - The effort to end the death penalty in Wyoming was unable to get past conservative opposition Thursday in the state Senate. House Bill 145, sponsored by Rep. Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne, was defeated on its first reading in the Senate on an 18-12 vote. Only the day before, the bill had passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-0 vote. One of the Senate co-sponsors, Sen. Brian Boner, R-Douglas, laid out the arguments for HB 145 during a floor debate Thursday, focusing on the...

  • FEB. 11 -Senate, House expect budget deal this week

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Feb 7, 2019

    CHEYENNE — Leadership in both chambers projected an air of stability and optimism Friday after the midweek drama in the Legislature over the state’s supplemental budget. The Senate suspended its rules and introduced several new spending bills Wednesday that would fund what they see as the top priorities for Wyoming in the event the chambers fail to agree on a full budget bill. That move, along with the 30-0 vote to kill Senate File 162, the state-funded capital construction bill, was seen by some watchers as the Senate signaling it was...

  • State Senate committee shuts door on closed primaries

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Jan 24, 2019

    CHEYENNE – A Republican’s effort to end party switching before a primary election died in committee after two days of testimony that included demands from local and state party leaders. The Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee rejected Senate File 32 on a 3-2 vote Tuesday. While the bill did get two yes votes, those votes came without any words of support or encouragement for passage. All five senators said the public comments they received in the lead-up to the vote had been evenly split in favor or against the...

  • Legislative leaders share vision for taxes

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Jan 15, 2019

    CHEYENNE — The leaders of both chambers of the state Legislature have made stabilizing revenue one of their top priorities this general session. On Friday, they gave more insight into how they’d aim to accomplish that, including taxing renewable energy and expanding the state sales tax. House Speaker Steve Harshman and Senate President Drew Perkins, both R-Casper, said they want to expand and modernize the tax base. The goal isn’t to create more revenue but instead a stable revenue stream that is more independent of the boom-and-bust cycle...

  • Bill would ban child marriage; Wyoming would join two other states

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Jan 3, 2019

    CHEYENNE –- The Wyoming Legislature could act this year to make the state one of only three in the country that prevents any child under the age of 18 from getting married. Currently, Wyoming law sets the legal age for marriage at 16, but allows for a child younger than that to get married, if given approval by a parent or guardian and approved by a judge. A bill proposed by incoming House Minority Whip Charles Pelkey, D-Laramie, would move the age limit to 18 and eliminate any exceptions. Pelkey said House Bill 60 just makes sense, given o...

  • Economic council bill dies despite business support

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Dec 28, 2018

    CHEYENNE — In the midst of the Legislature’s interim work this year, the state’s economic diversification organization suffered when a bill to create a lead officer for coordinating efforts across state agencies died in committee. The failed bill would have created a new cabinet for economic diversification housed in the Governor’s Office. Along with the new organization that was to include representatives from state educational institutions, the Secretary of State’s Office and Wyoming Business Council, it would have created the role of chief...

  • Mead's budget contains millions for senior care

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Dec 27, 2018

    CHEYENNE — As lawmakers parse through Gov. Matt Mead’s supplemental budget requests during the 2019 general session, a question they will have to find an answer to is how to ensure Wyoming’s aging population has the care it needs. Included in Mead’s supplemental request for the second half of the state’s biennium budget is $13.5 million to take care of the state’s aging population. About $2.5 million is being requested for increased enrollment in nursing facilities in Wyoming, which is being matched by $2.5 million in federal funds. Anot...

  • JAC adds money for school security and maintenance

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Dec 18, 2018

    CHEYENNE — State lawmakers gave initial support to a supplemental school construction bill that includes additional funding for maintenance, school security and money for a Cheyenne charter school’s housing costs. The Joint Appropriations Committee sponsored a bill Friday that included an additional $1 million in school maintenance money and almost $5 million for school security projects. The members also added more than $400,000 to the bill to help pay for leasing costs associated with the PODER Academy Secondary School (PASS) in Che...

  • Legislature to review several tax bills in 2019

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Dec 11, 2018

    CHEYENNE — Start a conversation about Wyoming state government’s finances with lawmakers or outside observers, and inevitably the talk will move to the need for the state to diversify where it gets its money. Currently, just less than 50 percent of all state revenue comes from the mineral industry. That oversized financial dependence on mineral extraction has led Wyoming to feel every boom-and-bust cycle in the energy market. So diversifying the state’s tax structure has been a focus of state lawmakers for years now. And in 2019, Wyomi...

  • Wyoming could switch its investment strategy

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Nov 14, 2018

    CHEYENNE – While Wyoming has benefited recently from massive gains from the financial market, the state may shift its investment strategy to a more conservative approach for the state’s checking account. The potential change would be to Wyoming’s State Agency Pool, also known as SAP, which is a combination of money from more than 400 state agency accounts pooled for investment. Investment income from the pooled resources are distributed back to a specific state agency or into the state’s general fund. Instead of looking for higher investm...

  • Four U.S. House candidates face off in debate

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Oct 19, 2018

    CHEYENNE — The four candidates competing for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took to the airwaves Tuesday night to convince voters they should be heading to Washington, D.C. The wide-ranging debate, hosted by Wyoming PBS, featured Republican incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney, Democrat Greg Hunter, Libertarian Richard Brubaker and Constitution Party candidate Daniel Cummings. Cheney is running for her second two-year term in the House. She has a sizable lead over her three challengers when it comes to her campaign war che...

  • States with mail-in ballots like the system

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange|Oct 16, 2018

    CHEYENNE – Mail-in ballots aren’t a foreign concept to Wyoming. They’re used for voting in special district elections. If an election needs to be run again, mail-in ballots can be used. And 31 percent of voters used absentee ballots in 2016 – what some have called a de facto mail-in ballot. But it’s been difficult for a bill allowing counties to choose to switch every election over to a mail-in ballot system to gain traction in the Wyoming Legislature. For three years, the Wyoming County Clerks Association, including Laramie County Clerk Deb...

  • Three candidates for governor spar on TV

    Ramsey Scott, Wyoming Tribune Eagle-WNE|Oct 9, 2018

    CHEYENNE –Three of the four candidates vying to be Wyoming’s next governor appeared on Cheyenne television Saturday night to lay out their vision for the state’s economy. But by the end, two of the candidates were exchanging accusations of lies and distortions of records. Republican Mark Gordon, Democrat Mary Throne and Constitution Party’s Rex Rammell all participated in the hour-long event that centered primarily on the state’s fiscal outlook, including economic development, possible changes to the tax code and how to fund the state’s o...

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